Testimonial Power! Mark 5:1-20

Text: “...Jesus saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee...”

Mark 5:19.

Good morning, delivered Christian!  Once you were blind, now you can see.  Once you were lost, now you are found.  Once you were enslaved by sin, now - through the grace and power of the Lord Jesus Christ - you have been set so truly free.  Surely that’s something to tell others about? Praise God!  (Acts 1:8)

“And they overcame him (Satan) by the Blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”  (Revelation 12:11) 

Jesus knew the power contained in a redeemed person’s spoken, or written, testimony; that is why He sent the delivered man in tonight’s Scripture passage home to “...tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”. (V.19)

The Lord could have kept the delivered man with Him and allowed him to give a word of testimony as they travelled through the various regions of Palestine - yet He didn’t, He sent the man home to tell his story.  Why?  What was Christ’s logic in working this particular way?  (Proverbs 5:1)

Testimonial power is at its most potent when given before hearers who have known the individual woman or man BEFORE that person was born again, redeemed by the Lord Jesus; BEFORE Christ Jesus regenerated that individual’s spirit.  (John 3:3-8) (1 Peter 1:23-25)

Why is this so?  Because people who have known us BEFORE we are saved, can actually see the change God has made in us by His transforming grace. 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.”                  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Others whom we meet and associate with AFTER we are saved, have no prior experience of us, or of the character we were before Christ Jesus called us to Him by the Gospel message of Salvation.  Therefore, they see only the transformed, regenerate, persons we now are, and have no comparison image of us with which they might evaluate the Spiritual transformation.  (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”  (1 Peter 2:9-12)

Is it any wonder, therefore, that “...all men did marvel...” when the delivered man gave his testimony throughout his home region of Decapolis? (V.20)

These people had probably thrown the demented man out of their region because of his foul spirit and untameable violence. (Vs.2-5)

Now, he was back - fully clothed, in his right mind; and telling all who would listen about the miracle that Christ had done in his life.  (V.15)

The proof of the man’s testimony was stood before them, leaving no one in any doubt of Christ’s redeeming power.  What a testimony!  What a Lord God!  Hallelujah, what a Saviour! Amen! 

“Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the gods (small g!)?  Who is like Thee, glorious in Holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11)

“NOTHING is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

J.C. Ryle Comments:

“We see, in the last place, from these verses, how com­plete is our Lord’s power and authority over the devil. We see it in the cry of the unclean spirit, “I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.” We see it in the com­mand, “Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit,” and the immediate obedience that followed. We see it in the blessed change that at once took place in him that was possessed: he was found “sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind.” We see it in the petition of all the devils, — “send us into the swine,” confessing their consciousness that they could do nothing without leave. All these things show that one mightier than Satan was there. Strong as the great enemy of man was, he was in the presence of One stronger than he. Numerous as his hosts were, he was confronted with One who could command more than twelve legions of angels. “Where the word of the king is, there is power.” (Ecclesiastes 8:4)

“The truth here taught is full of strong consolation for all true Christians. We live in a world full of difficulties and snares. We are ourselves weak and compassed with infirmity. The awful thought that we have a mighty spiritual enemy ever near us, subtle, powerful, and malicious as Satan is, might well disquiet us, and cast us down. But, thanks be unto God, we have in Jesus an almighty Friend, who is “able to save us to the uttermost.” He has already triumphed over Satan on the cross.”  (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900)

The PROOF of the Spiritual pudding is in the actual witnessing of a Salvation miracle performed upon some soul of whom we have personal experience.  Let us, therefore, exercise this personal testimonial power at every opportunity, and win others all around us to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thought:  Do YOU think enough of your Salvation to talk about it?


Jesus: Ruler of the World! Mark 4:35-41

Text: “And He, (Jesus) arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still! and the wind ceased, and there was great calm.”

Mark 4:39.

Good morning, peace-filled Christian!  You possess perfect peace within because you are a possession of the Prince of Peace - Jesus, the Risen Christ, Supreme Ruler of the world.

Give thanks and praise today, beloved believer, our peace is Eternally secured through the Cross of Christ. Hallelujah!

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth (trusts, and continues to trust) in Thee.”  (Isaiah 26:3)

The wind is a wayward and awesome elemental force; so powerful and contrary that mankind, with all his scientific and technological advances, cannot harness such a whimsical force or deter its destructive whims.  But what is utterly impossible with mankind, is at all times possible with Christ Jesus.  Praise God!  What a Redeemer Lord!  What a Sovereign Saviour indeed!  (Mark 10:27) (Luke 1:37) (Jeremiah 32:17)

Of Will and Wind 

Hark! Hear the wild and whispering wind;

Wailing on her fluted way.

Sobbing through field, town, and grove,

Like soul, demented, from the grave.

Whistling, whispering, screaming shrill,

Rising raucous, rising still.

What awesome quill has penned your moan?

From what huge heart is your dirge torn?

What Godly bellows blasts your force -

Devoid of mercy, frosty fierce?

Who hold your reins; plots your course?

Who wills your whims or knows your source?

Here - then gone to other places,

Free from fetters, ties, or traces.

Blowing, blowing, banging shutters;

Stealing tiles, and bending gutters!

Dancing, dancing, wildly prancing;

Squealing through the knot-holed fencing!

Roaring, roaring, madly soaring;

Bearing whirlwinds - wanton siren!

Unchaste, untamed, unleashed, unnamed -

What umbral regions hast thou reigned?

Maelstrome`d maenad, bacchant blaster,

Who can chide thy blatant bluster?

“Peace, be still!”, a Voice replied!

At once, the tossing tempest died. 

Dr C.K. McClinton


J.C. Ryle Comments:

“These verses describe a storm on the sea of Galilee, when our Lord and His disciples were crossing it, and a miracle performed by our Lord in calming the storm in a moment. Few miracles recorded in the Gospel were so likely to strike the minds of the disciples as this. Four of them at least were fishermen. Peter, Andrew, James, and John, had probably known the sea of Galilee, and its storms, from their youth. Few events in our Lord’s journeyings to and fro upon earth, contain more rich instruction than the one related in this passage.

“Let us learn, in the first place, that Christ’s service does not exempt His servants from storms. Here were the twelve disciples in the path of duty. They were obediently following Jesus wherever He went. They were daily attending on His ministry, and hearkening to His word. They were daily testifying to the world, that, whatever Scribes and Pharisees might think, they be­lieved on Jesus, loved Jesus, and were not ashamed to give up all for His sake. Yet here we see these men in trouble, tossed up and down by a tempest, and in danger of being drowned.

“Let us mark well this lesson. If we are true Chris­tians, we must not expect everything smooth in our journey to heaven. We must count it no strange thing, if we have to endure sicknesses, losses, bereavements, and disappointments, just like other men. Free pardon and full forgiveness, grace by the way and glory at the end, —all this our Saviour has promised to give. But He has never promised that we shall have no afflictions. He loves us too well to promise that. By affliction He teaches us many precious lessons, which without it we should never learn. By affliction He shows us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from the world, makes us long for heaven. In the resurrection morning we shall all say, “it is good for me that I was afflicted.” We shall thank God for every storm.  (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900) 

Life’s storms can threaten to blow away our every hope and dream.  Yet, each time such circumstances occur, and they will occur, we have God’s sure promise of lasting stability and an overcomer’s outlook on life.

Fear not therefore, sincere, yet sorely tried Christian, the Lord is ALWAYS merely a prayer away from helping us and blessing us with His perfect peace.  Keep right on looking to Him.  (John 14:1)

Thought:  Mid the storms of life - we have the perfect peace of the risen Christ.

Shadowy Branches Mark 4:30-34

“Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the Holiness of the Lord which He loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange God.”

Malachi 2:11.

Good morning, grieved Christian!  When you visit the place of worship, you grieve.  When you attend your prayer meeting, you grieve.  When you are called to a fellowship meeting at your local church, you grieve; and when you listen to a religious broadcast on the media, you also grieve sorely.  Why do you grieve so sore?  Why is your heart broken by what should be your means of joy and Spiritual strength?  Read on, beloved friend, the Scriptures will reveal all. 

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:32)

FAITH SOWING:  Faith was given by God through the hearing of His Gospel message of Salvation in Christ Jesus Alone.  (Acts 4:12) (John 14:6) (Romans 10:17)

The Gospel seed was sown in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and faith took root and grew by God’s free grace and according to His Eternal Purpose.  We were therefore, born again of God, via the seeds of Calvary Victory, the precious Blood of Christ Jesus the Lamb of God.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour! 

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (entire lifestyle) received by tradition from your faithers; but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who was preordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”  (1 Peter 1:18-23)

FAITH GROWING:  Believers of “...like precious faith...” began to meet together - to worship God Almighty, in and through Christ Jesus, in the manner God had instructed us so to do in His Word, the Bible. (Acts 2:41-47) (Hebrews 10:19-25)

The mustard seed of our faith began to blossom and grow in God’s grace - the Church was born.  (2 Peter 3:17-18) (2 Peter 1:1-10)

FAITH GLOWING:  The Church continued to grow and expand into every corner of this world of darkness, enlightening the way for all who were drawn to the Holy Spiritual glow.  By God’s Sovereign grace, many were gloriously saved.  Praise God!  (Acts 11:22-24)

Soon, the Church had branches everywhere - and many forgot their lowly mustard seed beginnings and became both arrogant and self-righteous with pride.   They began to go - ‘...their own way...’, seeking to please men instead of God.  (Proverbs 16:18)

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him (Christ Jesus) the iniquity of us all.”  (Isaiah 53:6)

FAITH GOING:  As today’s Bible passage depicts - soon, ‘...fowls of the air...’ began to lodge in the shadows of Church branches - and Christ interprets His own Word as to the nature of these ‘...fowls of the air...’.  (Luke 8:5;11-12)

“And these are they by the way side, where the Word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taken away the Word that was sown in their hearts.        (Mark 4:15)

These fowl birds depicted, take God’s Words out of would-be believer’s mouths and hearts - and sound Scriptural doctrines are deftly devoured by them.  All true believers grieve so very sore when this happens.  True faith must be preached/taught all over again, if these professing pests of apostasy are to be plucked out of fading church congregations.

FAITH BESTOWING:  Farmers take a shotgun to winged pests which plague the harvest crop.  In like manner, Scriptural ‘...fowls of the air...’ are soon cut down and rooted out of the Church - by preaching and teaching Bible truth; that faith-imparting two-edged Sword of the Spirit; and by use of the righteous Hammer of God’s great Word.  (Hebrews 4:12)   (Jeremiah 23:28-32)

J.C. Ryle Comments:

“The visible church of Christ has not yet done growing. Notwithstanding the melancholy apostasy of some of its branches, and the deplorable weakness of others, it is still extending and expanding over the world. New branches have continually been springing up in America, in India, in Australia, in Africa, in China, in the Islands of the South Seas, during the last fifty years. Evils un­doubtedly there are many. False profession and corrup­tion abound. But still, on the whole, heathenism is waning, wearing out, and melting away. In spite of all the predictions of Voltaire and Payne, in spite of foes without and treachery within, the visible church progresses, —the mustard plant still grows.

“And the prophecy, we may rest assured, is not yet exhausted. A day shall yet come, when the great Head of the church shall take to His power, and reign, and put down every enemy under His feet. The earth shall yet be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 2:2) Satan shall yet be bound. The heathen shall yet be our Lord’s inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth His possession. And then this parable shall receive its full accomplishment. The little seed shall become “a great tree,” and fill the whole earth. (Daniel 3:35.) (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900)

With the above Biblical process in mind, and the Spiritual remedy at our faithful hand, grieve no longer, Spirit-led Christian - exercise Spiritual pest-control immediately in your location.

Thought:  Foul birds shall only lodge in Christ’s Church branches - as long as true, Bible-believing, born again Christians allow them!  Draw that Sword!  (Heb.4:12)

Take Heed What You Hear! 2 Timothy 4:1-5

“And He (Christ Jesus) said unto them, Take heed what ye hear; with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you, and unto you that hear shall more be given.”

Mark 4:24.

Good morning, Christian hearer!  Like Mary the sister of the most active Martha, whom we read about in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 10:39), you have taken time to sit at Christ’s feet, as it were, hearing sound Gospel doctrines and personally studying the Bible truths for yourself.  In this manner, you have behaved wisely, like the beloved Bereans we are all called upon to imitate.  (Acts 17:10-11)

Therefore, though teachers of earthly renown should come to you preaching or teaching doctrines contrary to the Gospel truth of Salvation in Christ Alone - you will not hear their lies, nor embrace their errors.  Yea, though a very angel from Heaven were to preach another Gospel to you, you would, as Paul instructs, treat him as something accursed of God!  Praise God for your Spiritual discernment!  Amen! 

“But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”  (Galatians 1:6-12)

Yet, as today’s Bible passage clearly predicts, the time has come when many professing to be Christians will NOT endure the faithful teaching and preaching of sound Scriptural doctrine; they are plagued with itching ears; ears itching to hear false doctrines; easy-believism; ways of Salvation other than via the precious Blood of Christ Jesus - shed for the sins of the Elect at a place called Calvary.  (Leviticus 17:11) (1 Peter 18-19)

Such is the apostate state of much that is termed Christendom today, in the year 2024.  Having watered down true Christian beliefs, and compromised the faith once delivered unto us, - they now resemble nothing of Bible-based Christianity. 

Having turned away their ears from hearing Scriptural truth, they are in fact turned unto fables of worldly falsehood.  All sound hearers must always contend against such falsehoods, vehemently.  (2 John 6-11)

“Beloved…ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3-4)

Our Bible text above records Christ’s own personal admonition to us to take heed what we hear.  If what we hear is faithful Scriptural preaching/teaching, then faith shall be added unto us.  How?  Yes!  Because, “...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  It’s just as profoundly simple as this!  (Romans 10:17)

Thus, the measure of what we learn of God’s sound truth shall always be determined by the exact measure of the time and attention we give to the study of God’s Word, and of course, to the hearing of wholesome Christian doctrine. 

“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.”  (John 17:17)

In the above manner,therefore, we get out of God’s Word exactly what we are prepared to put into Bible study.  It’s a Scriptural truth!

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, A workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”  (2 Timothy 2:15)

“Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  (Luke 6:38)

J.C. Ryle Comments:

We learn, in the second place, from these verses, the importance of hearing, and of considering well what we hear.

“This is a point to which our Lord evidently attaches great weight. We have seen it already brought out in the parable of the sower. We see it here enforced in two remarkable expressions. “If any man have an ear to hear, let him hear.” “Take heed what ye hear.”

“Hearing the truth is one principal avenue through which grace is conveyed to the soul of man. “Faith cometh by hearing.” (Romans 10:17) One of the first steps towards conversion is to receive from the Spirit a hearing ear. Seldom are men brought to repentance and faith in Christ without “hearing.” The general rule is that of which St. Paul reminds the Ephesians, “ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth.” (Ephesians 1:13)

“Let us bear this in mind when we hear preaching decried as a means of grace. There are never wanting men who seek to cast it down from the high place which the Bible gives it. There are many who proclaim loudly that it is of far more importance to the soul to hear liturgical forms read, and to receive the Lord’s Supper, than to hear God’s word expounded. Of all such notions let us beware. Let it be a settled principle with us that “hearing the word,” is one of the foremost means of grace that God has given to man. Let us give to every other means and ordinance its proper value and proportion. But never let us forget the words of St. Paul, “despise not prophesyings,” and his dying charge to Timothy, “Preach the word.” (1 Thessalonians 5:20) (2 Timothy 4:2).” (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900)

With the above Bible lesson in mind therefore, let us take better heed to exactly what we are hearing today.  God’s Word alone is Divine truth.

Thought:  God’s Truth is sweet music to a Gospel-tuned ear.

Candlestick Christianity! Mark 4:21-23

Text: “And He, (Christ Jesus) said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed?  And not to be set on a candlestick?”

Mark 4:21.

Good morning, candlestick Christian!  Yes, you and I are called to be ‘candlestick Christians’ for Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour, for He alone has called us effectively, to be “…the Light of the world…”  Praise and all glory to His Holy and wonderful Name!

“Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”  (Matthew 5:14-16)

If the Lord God has saved us by His power of Spiritual regeneration, and Sovereign grace – it is that we should serve Him, not secretly, but as outward witnesses; the observable truth of the Gospel of Christ Jesus, and Him Crucified for the sins of “His people”.  Hallelujah!

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.  That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of Eternal life.”  (Titus 3:5-7)

“And you hath He quickened (made alive!), who were dead in trespasses and sins…But God Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.)  (Ephesians 2:1-6)

Can you and I imagine trying to HIDE the miracle of Christ, evidenced by so many, in the raising of Lazarus from the dead?  Never!  It just could not be done.  (John 11:1-45) 

However, we might, perhaps, be surprised to see so many professing Christians today, in this increasingly apostate 21st Century, professing to have been given Spiritual life by Christ, yet seeking desperately to hide their profession of faith from the eyes of those they meet day by day!  It is as though they are quite ashamed of the Christ Who has saved them, and most reluctant to reveal what He has done for them on that cruel Cross at Calvary!

Heed the clear warning of Scripture, fellow professing Christian, take heed today!

“Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him/her will I confess also before My Father which is in Heaven.  But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him/her will I also deny before My Father which is in Heaven.”  (Matthew 10:32-33)

“For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was anything kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man/woman hath ears to hear, let him/her hear.” (V.23)

“It is no secret what God can do; what He’s done for others, He’ll do for you.”  (It Is No Secret (What God Can Do) is a Southern Gospel song composed by Stuart Hamblen in the 1950s. It's been recorded by famous artists such as Billy Kenny of the Ink Spots, Elvis Presley, Jo Stafford and Jim Reeves, to name a few.” (YouTube online)

‘Candlestick Christians’ are always seeking to shine the light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Eternal Salvation He alone can impart, by His grace, through God-given faith.  We SEE Christ living within and in the lives of such outwardly witnessing Christians, learn that there is such an Eternal Salvation to be obtained from God, and if we be “His people”, He will begin to draw us with faith to Himself.  This is the power of ‘Candlestick Christianity’.  Praise God for His matchless grace!  (Ephesians 2:8-10) (Matthew 11:28-30)

J.C. Ryle Comments:

“We learn from these verses, that we ought not only to receive knowledge, but to impart it to others.

“A candle is not lighted in order to be hidden and concealed, but to be set on a candlestick and used. Re­ligious light is not given to a man for himself alone, but for the benefit of others. We are to try to spread and diffuse our knowledge. We are to display to others the precious treasure that we have found, and persuade them to seek it for themselves. We are to tell them of the good news that we have heard, and endeavour to make them believe it and value it themselves.

“We shall all have to give account of our use of know­ledge one day. The books of God in the day of judg­ment will show what we have done. If we have buried our talent in the earth, —if we have been content with a lazy, idle, do-nothing Christianity, and cared nothing what happened to others, so long as we went to heaven ourselves, —there will be a fearful exposure at last: “There is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested.”

“It becomes all Christians to lay these things to heart. It is high time that the old tradition, that the clergy alone ought to teach and spread religious knowledge, should be exploded and cast aside for ever. To do good and diffuse light is a duty for which all members of Christ’s Church are responsible, whether ministers or laymen.  Neighbours ought to tell neighbours, if they have found an unfailing remedy in time of plague.

“Christians ought to tell others that they have found medicine for their souls, if they see them ignorant, and dying for want of it. What saith the apostle Peter? “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another.” (1 Peter 4:10) They will be happy days for the Church when that text is obeyed.” (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900)

Thought:  If you and I have found Eternal forgiveness of sins, and Eternal life in Christ and through the shedding of His sinless and precious Blood – we must seek to be ‘Candlestick Christians’ and spread Christ’s Light to all the nations still in Spiritual darkness and fear.